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Knowing Africa: A brief profile of some countries

Tue, 26 May 2020 Source: GNA

As Ghana joins in the celebration of the 2020 African Union Day, we submit here a brief profile of some of the countries:

Country: Mozambique

Mozambique attained independence from the Portuguese in June 25, 1975. It is located in Eastern Africa. First President was Samora Machel.

Population size: 29.5 million (2018)

Major exports include Prawns, Cotton, Aluminum, Coal, cashew nuts and sugar

GDP: US$14.72 billion (2018)

Current President: Filipe Nyusi

Name of football national team: Os Mambas

Country: Morocco

Attained independence from France on March 2, 1956. Her official language is French

Population size: 36.03 million (2018)

Major exports include Citrus fruit, vegetables, crude minerals, clothing and textile

GDP: US$117.9 billion (2018)

Head of Government: Saad Eddine El Othmani

Name of football national team: Atlas Lions

Country: Mauritius

Mauritius attained her independence from Great Britain in March 12, 1968. Official language is English. First President was Veerasamy Ringadoo.

Population size: 1.265 million (2018)

Major exports include fish, clothing and sugar cane

GDP: US$14.22 billion (2018)

Name of football national team: Les Dodos

Country: Madagascar

Madagascar is an island which gained independence from France on June 26, 1960. Philibert Tsiranana was the first President of Madagascar.

Population size: 26.26 million

Major exports include Vanilla, Raw nickel, Cloves and Cobalt

GDP: US$13.85 billion (2018)

Current President: Andry Rajoelina

Name of football national team: Barea

Country: Namibia

Independence date: March 21, 1990

Person who led them into independence: Sam Nujoma

Official language: English

Current President: Hage Gottfried Geingob

Current population size: 2,540,905

GDP: $14.368 billion (nominal, 2019 est)

However, it is expected to reach $16.00 billion by the end of 2020, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations.

Major exports: Diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, white fish and mollusks

Name of football national team: Brave Warriors

Country: Nigeria

Independence date: October 1, 1960

Person who led them into independence: Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe

Official language (s): English

Current President: Muhammadu Buhari

Current population size: 206,139,589

GDP: $446.543 billion (nominal, 2019 est.)

Major exports: petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, vehicles, aircraft parts, vessels, vegetable products, processed food, beverages, spirits and vinegar, cashew nuts, processed leather, cocoa, tobacco, aluminum alloys

Name of football national team: Super Eagles

Country: Niger

Independence date: August 3, 1960

Person who led them into independence: Hamani Diori

Official language (s): French

Current President: Mahamadou Issoufou

Current population size: 24,206,644

GDP: $9.50 Billion in 2019

Major exports: uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions

Name of football national team: Meyna or Ménas

Country: Rwanda

Independence date: July 1, 1962

Person who led them into independence: Grégoire Kayibanda

Official language (s): Kinyarwanda, French, English, Swahili

Current President: Paul Kagame

Current population size: 12,952,218

GDP: $10.209 billion (nominal, 2019 est.)

Major exports: coffee, tea, tin cassiterite, Wolfframite, and pyrethrum. Coffee makes up between 50 per cent to 80 per cent of the total export.

Name of football national team: Amavubi (The Wasps)

Country: Sao Tome & Principe

Independence date: July 12, 1975

Person who led them into independence: Manuel Pinto da Costa

Official language (s): Portuguese

Current President: Manuel Pinto da Costa

Current population size: 219,159

GDP: $422.3 million (2018)

Major exports: Cocoa, copra, coffee, palm oil

Name of football national team: The Falcons and True Parrots Team

Country: Senegal

Independence date: June 20, 1960

Person who led them into independence: Léopold Sédar Senghor

Official language (s): French

Current President: Macky Sall

Current population size: 16,743,927

GDP: $24.13 billion (2018)

Major exports: fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton

Name of football national team: The Lions of Teranga

Country: Seychelles

Independence date: June 29, 1976.

Person who led them into independence: Sir James Mancham and France-Albert René

Official language (s): English, French, Seychellois Creole.

Current President: Danny Faure

Current population size: 98,347

GDP: $1.59 billion (2018)

Major exports: canned tuna, frozen fish, petroleum products

Name of football national team: The Pirates

Country: Sierra Leone

Independence date: April 27, 1961

Person who led them into independence: Sir Milton Margai

Official language (s): English

Current President: Julius Maada Bio

Current population size: 7,976,983

GDP: $4.085 billion (2018)

Major exports: diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish

Name of football national team: Leone Stars

Country: Somalia

Independence date: July 1, 1960

Person who led them into independence: Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf

Official language (s): Somali

Current President: Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo

Current population size: 15,893,222

GDP: $ 4.721 billion (2018)

Major exports: livestock, bananas, skins, fish, charcoal and scrap metal.

Name of football national team: The Ocean Stars

Country: South Africa

Independence date: May 31, 1961

Person who led them into independence: Nelson Mandela

Official language (s): Southern Sotho, Pedi/Northern Sotho, Tswana, Swati, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, English, Venda, Tsonga

Current President: Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa

Current population size: 59,308,690

GDP: $368.3 billion (2018)

Major exports: corn, diamonds, fruits, gold, metals and minerals, sugar, and wool.

Name of football national team: Bafana Bafana

Country: South Sudan

Independence date: July 9, 2011

Person who led them into independence: Salva Kiir Mayardit

Official language (s): English

Current President: Salva Kiir Mayardit

Current population size: 11,193,725

GDP: $4.58 billion (2018)

Major exports: Crude Petroleum ($1.22B), Scrap Iron ($2.98M), Aircraft Parts ($1.65M), Sawn Wood ($1.22M) and Gas Turbines ($1.22M)

Name of football national team: Bright Stars

Country: Sudan

Independence date: January 1, 1956

Person who led them into independence: Ismail al-Azhari

Official language (s): Literary Arabic and English

Current President: Omar al Bashir

Current population size: 43,849,260

GDP: $40.85 billion (2018)

Major exports: gold; oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, peanuts, gum Arabic, sugar

Name of football national team: Falcons on Jediane

Country: Swaziland

Swaziland, also known as Eswatini attained independence from the British on September 6, 1968. Official languages are English and French. Swaziland operates a Monarchical government, that is, the country is governed by a King.

The name of the current king is Mswati III.

Population size: 1.136 million (2018)

Major exports include Sugar, Cotton yarn, Wood pulp, Citrus and Canned fruits

GDP: US$4.711 billion (2018)

Name of football national team: Sihlangu Semnikati

Country: Tanzania

Independence date: December 9, 1961

Person who led them into independence: Julius Kambarage Nyerere

Official language (s): Swahili; English; Arabic (Zanzibar)

Current President: John Magufuli

Current population size: 59,734,218

GDP: $58 billion (2018)

Major exports: gold, coffee, cashew nuts, and cotton.

Name of football national team: Taifa Stars

Country: Togo

Independence date: April 27, 1960

Person who led them into independence: Sylvanus Epiphanio Olympio

Official language (s): French

Current President: Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma

Current population size: 8,278,724

GDP: $5.359 billion (2018)

Major exports: coffee, cocoa, maize and cotton.

Name of football national team: Les Éperviers (The Sparrowhawks)

Country: Tunisia

Independence date: March 20, 1956,

Person who led them into independence: Habib Bourguiba

Official language (s): Arabic

Current President: Kais Saied

Current population size: 11,818,619

GDP: $39.87 billion (2018)

Major exports: clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment

Name of football national team: Eagles of Carthage

Country: Uganda

Independence date: October 9, 1962

Person who led them into independence: Milton Obote

Official language (s): English

Current President: Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Current population size: 45,741,007

GDP: $27.46 billion (2018)

Major exports: Coffee ($555M), Gold ($416M), Dried Legumes ($98.4M), Fish Fillets ($87.1M) and Cocoa Beans ($74.9M)

Name of football national team: The Cranes

Country: Zambia

Independence date: October 24, 1964,

Person who led them into independence: Kenneth Kaunda

Official language (s): English

Current President: Edgar Chagwa Lungu

Current population size: 18,383,955

GDP: $26.72 billion (2018)

Major exports: copper/cobalt 64%, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton

Name of football national team: “Chipolopolo" aka "The Copper Bullets".

Country: Zimbabwe

Independence date: April 18, 1980.

Person who led them into independence: Robert Mugabe

Official language (s): English language, Shona language, Northern Ndebele language

Current President: Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa

Current population size: 14,862,924

GDP: $31 billion (2018)

Major exports: platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing

Name of football national team: The Warriors

Source: GNA